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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Healthy Palmetto



The Healthy Palmetto Leadership Council serves as the state coalition of organizations that collectively addresses healthy eating, active living, and healthy weight for the Live Healthy SC State Health Improvement Plan. South Carolina is fortunate to have great momentum around healthy eating and active living. Our purpose is to unify and mobilize organizations working on healthy eating and active living efforts in South Carolina.


Our partners include agencies, academic institutions, non-profit and private organizations, and funders that have a state-wide impact on healthy eating and active living.


We envision a South Carolina where quality of life is a priority, and everyone has an equitable opportunity to thrive. 

Want to learn more? Check out our Healthy Palmetto fact sheet.


As of 2022, South Carolina is one of 22 current states with adult obesity rates above 35 percent. The annual Trust for America's Health State of Obesity report offers key insight into rising rates within our state and throughout the country, and also offers evidence-based strategies and policies to help inform the efforts of Healthy Palmetto and its partners. 

A direct link to the full TFAH Report can be found here.

We know that lifestyle behaviors begin with our children and in South Carolina we have a unique data set showing measured health-related fitness data of our public school students - South Carolina FitnessGram. This data not only provides information on the children of South Carolina, but also helps us to predict the trend for adult health outcomes. Data from the 2022-2023 school year shows that 39% of students are overweight or obese and 54% are not meeting health-related standards for cardiorespiratory fitness.

To learn more about our children's health and fitness, a link to full SC FitnessGram reports can be found here.  


The Live Healthy SC State Health Improvement Plan lays out the foundation for giving everyone a chance to live a healthy life. It is a call to action for South Carolinians to take data-driven, evidence-based steps to advance the health and well-being of all South Carolinians. Healthy Palmetto aligns with the Chronic Health Conditions priority of the 2018-2023 State Health Improvement Plan. The Chronic Health Conditions priority aims for partners to take action to promote healthy lifestyles and environments that prevent chronic conditions.  

A new State Health Improvement Plan is being developed in 2024. Healthy Palmetto is leading the Health Behaviors Work Group for this plan.

OUR PRIORITIES (2022-2024)

The Healthy Palmetto Leadership Council has selected six priority areas on which to focus its state-wide efforts. By elevating the collective expertise of these unique partners, we will lay the groundwork for a sustainable model that other priorities can be added to over time. Together, we can achieve more and contribute to a healthier South Carolina!

Improve Outdoor Environments in Early Care and Education

Support the efforts of Grow Outdoors SC as they transform early childhood outdoor spaces into naturalized environments that spark play and learning.


Grow Outdoors SC is a joint effort of the Division of Early Care and Education at the South Carolina Department of Social Services, and the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Grow Outdoors SC is currently developing seven demonstration sites, three future demonstration sites that serve children with special needs, and six pilot sites at licensed child care centers. At these sites, we are working with landscape designers to create environments designed to optimize outdoor play and learning. Grow Outdoors SC plans to involve up to 40 child care centers each year for the next five years to create more naturalized play and learning environments throughout South Carolina.

Learn More:

Download our fact sheet for additional information on this priority area, or visit our site for a more in-depth look into our work.

Contact Us:

Misty Pearson, Early Care and Education Consultant 

(803) 898-1619

Prioritize Physical Activity in Schools

Support SC FitnessGram partners to improve student health by enhancing physical education (PE) and creating more opportunities for physical activity before, during, and after school.


SC FitnessGram is a statewide initiative to evaluate and ultimately improve fitness among public school students in South Carolina. The initiative is working with school districts to implement evidence-based practices to increase the time for and intensity of physical activity, improve the quality of physical education, and develop a culture of health and fitness within schools. Over 1,000 schools from 90% of South Carolina’s school districts are participating in SC FitnessGram, supporting students’ health from head to heart by using data and proven practices to increase physical activity. The initiative collects and analyzes the data of six health-related fitness components administered by physical education teachers to students in grades 5, 8, and high school, and height and weight only in grade 2.


Learn More:

Download our fact sheet for additional information on this priority area, or visit our site for a more in-depth look into our work.


Contact Us:

Breonna Mealing, SC FitnessGram Coordinator 

Erica Ayers, School Wellness Consultant

Promote Trail Connectivity 

Support the SC Trails Coalition to increase trail connectivity in South Carolina and promote the use of trails and walking paths through increased knowledge and outreach


The SC Trails Coalition is newly formed and comprised of members of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, SC Recreation and Parks Association, SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT), the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, and Kids in Parks. The coalition is working to establish a statewide trails community and a framework for mapping all the existing trails in the state. The organization is also creating a plan for connecting and maintaining trails and building new ones; advocating for the increased use of trails through programming and public outreach; and breaking down barriers so trails are accessible to all South Carolinians. Trails and greenways can be a powerful economic development tool for small towns and rural areas. Trails don’t just go through woods; they go around ballparks and through towns and cities, making them more accessible to a larger demographic.

Learn More:

Download our fact sheet for additional information on this priority area, or visit our site for a more in-depth look into our work.


Contact Us:

Mary Roe, Executive Director of the Palmetto Trail

Jim Headley, Executive Director of SC Recreation and Parks Association

Expand Awareness of WIC 

Expand awareness of the benefits and services of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program to increase enrollment of eligible participants.


WIC is a federally funded program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that has been in existence for 50 years. In South Carolina, WIC is managed by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. WIC participants utilize an eWIC card to purchase healthy foods, such as grains, protein, fruits and vegetables. The eWIC card works in conjunction with a mobile app that lets them scan a UPC code while shopping to see if the item is approved. They can also use their eWIC cards for self-checkout at Walmart and Kroger. In addition, WIC is developing technologies to better assist participants. TeleWIC is a mobile friendly, telehealth service that will provide WIC participants with enhanced access to nutrition care, breastfeeding education, and support. WIC is also creating an online portal to allow participants to enter information and upload documents during the application process. And WIC has implemented the WIC Developmental Monitoring Project utilizing milestones set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Learn More:

Download our fact sheet for additional information on this priority area, or visit our site for a more in-depth look into our work.


Contact Us:

Beverly Brockington, Assistant State WIC Director

(803) 898-0688

Increase Senior Enrollment in SNAP

Support the SC Department on Aging and SC Thrive to increase enrollment of eligible older adults in SNAP through community-based outreach and marketing initiatives targeted towards older adults as well as training for SNAP counselors/community workers.


The SC Department on Aging has 10 Area Agencies on Aging throughout South Carolina who assist seniors with SNAP applications either directly or by referring them to their local Department of Social Services or SC Thrive. SC Thrive provides counselors and technology enabling seniors to apply for SNAP through “Thrive Hub.” The two agencies collaborate to significantly increase the participation of older adults (age 60+) in SNAP through community-based outreach and enrollment initiatives; and to identify, analyze, and disseminate replicable, cost-effective, and scalable strategies for increasing enrollment. In 2021, SC Thrive served 8,346 seniors, either in person or through their Contact Center. The two agencies focus on low-income, high-need populations by collaborating on home-delivery meal services, and outreach at senior farmers markets, food banks, wellness centers, and health clinics.

Learn More:

Download our fact sheet for additional information on this priority area, or visit our site for a more in-depth look into our work.


Contact Us:

Rowan Goodrich, Nutritionist IV, SC Dept. on Aging

Increase Access to Healthy Food 

Support the SC Food Policy Council to strengthen local food systems in South Carolina; address food insecurity through the health care system by expanding screening & referral tools and resources; and explore strategies to address community design for physical activity and access to healthy food.


The SC Food Policy Council (SCFPC) is strengthening and expanding the state’s local food system to advance the production and consumption of healthy food. SCFPC serves as a forum for members to share their concerns and progress on programs and initiatives concerning the food system in South Carolina and collaborate on making improvements. The Council has six committees ranging from Planning and Transportation to Food Access and Insecurity to Strengthening Nutrition Assistance Programs. For example, through its Food is Medicine SC committee, SCFPC strives to improve nutrition security by encouraging, facilitating, and scaling-up screenings and referrals at pediatrician offices, health care clinics, and child care facilities, with emphasis on rural and under-resourced communities. And the Racial Equity committee centers racial equity to ensure a more equitable and healthy food system in South Carolina.

Learn More:

Download our fact sheet for additional information on this priority area, or visit our site for a more in-depth look into our work.


Contact Us:

SC Food Policy Council





Backbone Organizations



Executive Committee




Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Alliance for a Healthier SC
SC Recreation and Parks Association 
University of SC Built Environment and Community Health Lab 
South Carolina Alliance of YMCAs
Grow Outdoors SC
SC FitnessGram Advisory Council 
SC Women, Infants, and Children
SC Department on Aging
SC Food Policy Council Food is Medicine Committee
Clemson Rural Health
Kids in Parks 
SC Thrive 
MUSC Boeing Center for Children's Wellness
Palmetto Cycling Coalition
FoodShare South Carolina 
American Heart Association
University of SC Children's Physical Activity Research Group
SC Trails Coalition
SC Food Policy Council Planning and Transportation Committee 
SC Department of Social Services Division of Early Care and Education



BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation
Child Well-Being Coalition
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service
Furman University Institute for the Advancement of Community Health
SC Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
SC Department of Education Office of Health and Nutrition
SC Department of Transportation
SC Institute of Medicine and Public Health
University of SC Prevention Research Center
DHEC Cancer Programs


2100 Bull Street

Columbia, South Carolina 29201